Research

Statistical Analyses, Methodology, and Computer Simulations

I have a strong interest in statistical methodology within the social sciences. Specifically, I am interested in using computer simulations to illustrate expected trends and results prior to data collection. I am also interested in using computer simulations to illustrate issues with current statistical practices within the social sciences. For example, I am finalizing a manuscript that uses simulations to illustrate difficulties interpreting mediation within structural equation modeling (SEM) as well as issues interpreting goodness-of-fit measures for SEM within the social sciences.

Social Class Culture

In the summer of 2017, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Summer Institute for Social and Personality Psychology, sponsored by NSF and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. During this intensive education program, I learned about the pervasive nature of social class (working, middle, upper) in the United States. Social class distinctions create different opportunities for individual growth as well as perpetuate dramatic cultural differences within the United States. These cultural differences influence a number of psychological phenomena and are an important component in understanding division and social issues within the United States.

My dissertation focuses on observing this social class cultural variations and the effect they have on psychological phenomena, such as social perception, the information we attend to, and the way we interact with our environment.

Perceptions of Gender and Sexual Orientation

My applied research focuses on attitudes, perceptions, and behavioral intentions toward sexual minorities (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals). My collaborator and I have determined that individuals who endorse ridged gender norms are more likely to hold negative perceptions toward transgender individuals and are less likely to engage in professional or personal relationships with transgender individuals. Our subsequent studies seek to use educational interventions to decrease the endorsement of gender norms, increase positive perceptions and behavioral intentions toward transgender individuals. We hope that our research will aid in increase employment opportunities and positive work/education environments for transgender individuals. 

My methodological work involves developing a sexual orientation microaggression scale. The original microaggresion scale (REMS), developed by Nadal (2011), uses phrases and behaviors insinuating racial inequality to measure people of color’s experiences with racism. Our scale measures an individual’s agreement with microaggressive statements and behaviors to tap into implicit attitudes toward gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. My collaborators and I have developed questions, measured interrater reliability, and are currently conducting exploratory factor analyses for the development of the sexual orientation microaggression scale.